ALBERTA

Derek Saretzky, Accused Of Killing Toddler And Her Dad, Back In Jail After Hospital Stay

09/29/2015 01:52 EDT | Updated 09/28/2016 05:12 EDT
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The man charged in the slaying of a two-year-old toddler and her father in southern Alberta has been released from hospital and returned to custody.

Derek Saretzky is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father, Terry Blanchette, as well as a separate charge of offering an indignity to the little girl's body.

Last week, the 22-year-old Saretzky was found at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre in medical distress.

Sources say he tried to commit suicide by hanging himself.

He was placed in a medically induced coma but late last week regained consciousness and is now recovering.

Officials are not saying where he is now being held but say every inmate is assessed by institutional staff in conjunction with Alberta Health Services to ensure appropriate placement in a correctional facility.

Saretzky is scheduled to appear in a Lethbridge court via closed-circuit TV on Wednesday to answer to the charges in the death of the young father who was found dead in his home, and his daughter, who was abducted from the home and whose body was later found in a rural area.

Meanwhile, questions continue to surface about how Saretzky may have been able to harm himself.

At an event in Calgary on Monday, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said she couldn't address the specific case because of privacy reasons.

“Certainly the safety of both the workers in correction centres and the inmates being held there is absolutely critical and it’s sort of top of mind," she said. "We do a number of things to address that."

Wildrose justice critic Scott Cyr said he will call for a review into the matter when the legislature resumes sitting.

“This is a very distressing incident," Cyr said. "Mr. Saretzky allegedly committed a very heinous crime and the victims’ families need to have answers.

"We need to make sure we get a review. The fact is these correctional facilities have all of the safety guidelines in place."

Cyr said he is not pointing the finger at correctional staff, instead implying it may be a question of whether they have the proper resources needed to do their job.

(CTV Calgary, CFFR)

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Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette